Thursday, May 29, 2008

You & Me

Just because I am curious I would love to know about some of the people who read this blog, or rather if anyone does besides the 4-5 family members and friends who make reference to it in everyday conversations. So, if you would be so kind, please leave a comment with your name and as little or as much information about yourself as you would like. I'd love to meet you!

And because I'm feeling random and haven't done something like this before, I'll include many things about myself...big and small stuff. It may get boring, so if you zone out, just leave your name comment below. Thanks for reading!

1. My favorite colors are blue and deep red, but I am easily swayed by popular home fashion color schemes.
2. I grew up on a farm and had pigs for 4-H but I wouldn't say I'm an animal lover.
3. My first kiss was with my husband. His first kiss was with me. And I'm thankful for that.
4. I'm the second born of four children in my family.
5. I was the valedictorian of my high school graduating class, though my graduating class only had 17 students.
6. My high school years were rather calm and uneventful. A typical weekend looked like this: Friday night - participate in sports, Saturday - sleep in, Saturday night - babysitting, Sunday - church and a nap. I wouldn't describe those years as my glory days.
7. My physical feature I'm most at peace with is my nose.
8. I went away to university in Canada about 1700 miles from home, but not because I was trying to escape my parents.
9. When travelling by car, I would rather make fewer stops and get there sooner than to really take in the sights along the way.
10. I was married at 22, bought our first home at 24 and became a mother at 25.
11. My real haircolor is blond.
12. I desire to live simply and with contentment, but sometimes life gets messy.
13. I like quick projects that can be completed in an hour or less.
14. I have an amazing group of girlfriends from our university days. I desire that kind of community again, but realize that is a unique time of life when you are available to really forge deeper friendships than perhaps at any other time of your life.
15. I like recycling, but find it odd that so few people here seem to do it, unless they are closet recyclers or something.
16. I started doing laundry at age 8.
17. I started cooking about that time, too.
18. I once won a purple ribbon at the fair for an apple pie I made. I rarely make pie now.
19. My favorite desserts are blueberry pie and brownies.
20. I don't much care for ice cream.
21. I feel like I used to be adventurous but seem to be playing it safe as I age...guess it is time for a new challenge or adventure.
22. I love going to the Y and working out and getting renewed for mothering.
23. Weight and size issues have always been a struggle for me.
24. I have given birth once with pain relieving drugs and twice without, though all have been induced labors. My earliest child was born a week after his due date and my latest child was born 15 days after his due date. I know some are opposed to any interventions, but I really believe it would not be to the benefit of my babies to stay in the womb longer than they have and with no signs of progress on my part.
25. I've tried all sorts of things to induce labor and nothing worked for me.
26. I'm looking for a meaningful hobby.
27. You could describe me as practical. I often choose function and efficiency over other factors.
28. You could also describe me as being more moderate than extreme.
29. I like to cook, especially for people who enjoy my cooking.
30. I like to sew, but rarely use a pattern and I don't usually make clothes.
31. I was frugal even before I needed to be.
32. My most unusual summer job was mowing and weed-eating a cemetery. I had a great tan that summer.
33. I love to walk in the country, not so much on suburban streets.
34. As a junior in high school I went on a trip to France, Switzerland and Italy. I haven't been off the continent since.
35. I'd love to have a fruitful garden.
36. I dislike confrontation.
37. My favorite way to redecorate and is to rearrange furniture and I like to do that often.
38. If I'm given a choice between chocolates or fruity candies I will always choose the fruity ones.
39. I am a regular soda drinker...though I know I need to change this.
40. When I think of our newlywed basement suite I laugh. We didn't have good furniture and it was really cold so the warmest and most comfortable place to be was in our bed.
41. With my kids I want to play more and yell less.
42. Motherhood is the toughest job I've ever had.
43. I don't mind loading the dishwasher, but I'm not too fond of unloading it.
44. I bought my first computer when I graduated from high school. It cost about $2000! Times have changed and thankfully prices on some things have come down.
45. All of my car accidents happened before I had my license.
46. It took me a few tries to get my school permit.
47. I'm currently torn between sending our son to a public charter school and homeschooling.
48. Ironically, our honeymoon was in Colorado, the state where we now live.
49. We drove my husband's car through the west to arrive home after our honeymoon in a heat wave...without air conditioning. We really enjoyed our stops so we could talk to each other again.
50. I'm not a collector of anything, unless you count my ribbon stash. Some women have shoes, I have ribbon.
51. When we moved to Colorado Springs we had no friends.
52. We moved without ever visiting Colorado Springs and found our apartment on the internet. We were young and stupid, no, carefree, but unloading our moving truck into our dumpy apartment was a rude awakening.
53. It melts my heart when my kids say thank you for an ordinary thing I have done for them.
54. I love my two-yearold's belly laughs.
55. If we could do it over again, we would probably have taken a big tropical or European vacation sometime before having children.
56. My favorite kitchen appliance is my Bosch Kitchen Machine, followed closely by my Nutrimill and our Cuisinart waffle iron.
57. My favorite kitchen tools are my Pampered Chef batter bowl, avocado knife and spatulas. Did you know the avocado knife works well for getting the shells off hard boiled eggs? No, I don't sell P.C. and don't plan to go to more parties. I think I'm set.
58. One thing I would prefer not to live without would be our Dustbuster. We've used it multiple times per day since we've had kids eating.
59. I am not detail-oriented.
60. I don't follow strict rules for doing laundry. I've even been know to throw whites and colored items together into the washer just to get them off the floor.
61. I don't like folding laundry anywhere but the laundry room. Our laundry room is small but if we haul it out to the kitchen, living room or bedrooms to fold it the chance of it getting put away in a timely manner are slim to none. At least in the laundry room I can just keep adding to everyone's small basket until I have no choice but to put it away.
62. I spend too much time on the computer and hope this summer to drastically reduce that time to focus on my kids more.
63. I love to cook in a clean kitchen but if the kitchen is messy I feel overwhelmed.
64. I graduated university with a business degree. I don't see how that knowledge is being applied to my current life, but I am thankful for all the lessons I learned in pursuit of that degree and the friends I made along the way.
65. I miss the rain of B.C. while still loving the sunshine of Colorado.
66. When moving to Colorado Springs we went to return our U-Haul and did not have our car in town at that point. The U-Haul rep said one particular drop-off location would be walking distance to our apartment. Um...not so much. If you are local, think Black Forest Road to Academy along Woodmen road before there was any development (or sidwalks!) along half of the journey, more than 6 miles with temps in the 90s and the two of us sharing one 8 oz. bottle of water. We had a lot to learn!
67. In our Colorado Springs apartment we lived under a couple who had an alcohol problem. This would lead to many fights and glasses thrown at the fireplace above us and greatly encouraged us to pursue home ownership!
68. I did not grow up in a family who camped, but I enjoy camping now.
69. I met my husband on a ski lift on a spring break trip.
70. I love having boys and a girl!
71. I need to eat more vegetables.
72. I mourned a little over the coming of our second child because I knew it would never be the same with me and the firstborn.
73. I cried on the way to the hospital for our third child, though I wasn't in labor. I knew another big change was around the corner and for the first few hours of being at the hospital my husband couldn't be there because he was getting our children settled with friends.
74. With our firstborn I felt like a huge failure because nursing did not work. We tried lots of stuff and he just didn't catch on and so I pumped for a long time. (At this point some of you are thinking this is TMI...sorry). Looking back, it was crazy to think that.
75. Our second child also had nursing problems, but 4-5 weeks into the process caught on. Our third child did well from day one. My advice to new moms on this is to do all you can do to make it work and if it doesn't not to take this as a reflection on you or the bond you are making with your child. Like so many other issues of life, nursing is not one of the black and white things, even if La Leche would have you believe it is the only way.
76. I grew up one mile from one set of my grandparents and have many fond memories of times with them and wonder if we are robbing our kids by not living close to either set of grandparents.
77. Since beginning the frugal lifestyle in earnest I am often amazed and appalled at how people throw their money away. I know this sounds judgmental, and sometimes it is, but most of the time I just find it very intriguing.
78. Though we have always tried to be careful with our finances, we were greatly challenged in our spending, planning, and view of money by taking Financial Peace University Online in the last 6 months. It has been amazing, not fun, but really good!
79. I am thankful that my parents took us on some wonderful trips in our years at home. Now seeing and understanding how much work it is to take a family on a trip I am all the more thankful.
80. I love Friday night date nights with my husband and the delicious guacamole he makes!
81. I love organizing and decluttering, even if our house doesn't look like I apply those techniques nearly enough.
82. I played fast-pitch softball into high school and I do not "throw like a girl."
83. I like to stay up late and get up late, my husband likes to turn in early and get up early.
84. I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was preschool age, triggered largely by my sister (probably 6 or 7 at the time) telling me if I didn't believe in Jesus I was going to go to hell. My memory is fading, but I know it happened when we were getting ready to go to a Sunday evening service. Thankfully that is not the extent of my faith and I thank God that He continues to reveal Himself to me and that it really isn't about fearing hell that you accept a Savior, as I must have thought when I was preschool age.
85. The grace of God is amazing! The more I know Him, the more I see my sin and the more I need grace and the power of the gospel to transform me.

And the Winner Is....

Thanks to all who participated in the giveaway. Sister did the random drawing just now and the winner is Rebecca of That's What It's All About. I have the pleasure of knowing Rebecca in real life and appreciate her sweetness. We met at water aerobics at the Y while pregnant with our little boys and later realized that we were each the friend of a friend.

Have a happy day!

Friday, May 23, 2008


If you would like to enter for a chance to win the family organizer, click on this link and leave a comment before 8:00 PM Mountain Time on Tuesday!

And have a great weekend remembering those heroes who have sacrificed for our country and also enjoying time with your families!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Casting My Cares on Him

I'll admit that for a couple months I have felt anxiety rising in my heart, in my mind and in my communication with others, focusing on the circumstances of life rather than the sovereignty of God. And we aren't experiencing dire straits here, just nagging worries and getting financially pinched a bit tighter every month even though we are trying our best to live sensibly.

As it turned out, I missed church this past Sunday to stay with our younger kiddos who were under the weather and unable to go to church. So, with the rest of the family tucked in bed tonight I started listening to this week's sermon in the comfort of our living room with an iced tea in my hand. (I do enjoy some benefits of this information age, and listening to sermons online is one of them.) This portion of Scripture is just what I needed to hear again (1 Peter 5:7). Without consciously noticing, I had stopped believing the Gospel and had begun to look to my performance or our bank account balance or any of a number of other things to make me feel secure. I needed this reminder tonight of His grace, His sovereignty, His love and care for me.

If you are able, please take time to listen to the sermon or download it to your MP3 player. We all need to preach the Gospel to ourselves and this is one way to do it.

100th Post & a Giveaway!

It has taken me far longer to reach my 100th post than I imagined it would, but such is life....

To mark the occasion and spread some blog love, I would like to give away a copy of Mom's Ultimate Family Organizer. It is a great tool for keeping the details of your family life organized including calendars, to-do lists, medical information and so much more. I like it so much I'm tempted to keep if for myself...but I won't.

To enter to for a chance to receive this and some other little surprises, please leave a comment. If your name is not clickable or I don't know you in real life, please include your e-mail address as well (throw in extra spaces or whatever to avoid spam). I will conduct the random drawing on Tuesday, May 27th around 8 pm (Mountain Time) so please enter before then. I would be happy to ship to U.S. and Canadian addresses. Enjoy!

Look for a blog roll coming soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I'm just now catching up on some blogging so here go some memes which I was tagged for a while back.

Jenny at Frugal Vegcafe tagged me to share my 5 top budget busters. Many of our budget busters have lost their effectiveness since we've gone to actually making an "on paper, on purpose" budget and using the cash envelope system, but we still have a long way to go. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Buying stuff we don't need because the price is so good. This is one reason I don't think I need to be a weekly Goodwill shopper or shop frequently at all. The more you shop, the more you find and buy, even if you didn't you know you needed the item before you went shopping. Or that is the way it has worked for me anyway.

2. Disorganization. The biggest way I see this play out is in not getting the day started early enough when we have outings and errands. Because I'm not organized to get us out the door early, we complete an errand and then it is lunch time and we still have more stops, leaving me with the choice of eating out (usually drive-thru) or doing the errands another time, which ends up using more gas. Also, not keeping up on cutting and filing my coupons. I know I miss some great deals because I'm not current on these.

3. Shopping without a detailed list. It is way too easy to get sidetracked and buy more than we need for that week and perhaps not enough of the things we really do need, which can create additional trips to the store in subsequent days. Shopping is actually more fun when I am on top of the game, have a clear list with all coupons filed and clipped and can get in and out of the store quickly. Also, while shopping alone in the evening seems best for my sanity, it really is a trade-off since I am tired and not as clear-headed by the end of the day to be making decisions....even about the most minute should I buy 1 bottle of ketchup on sale or 2?

4. Indecisiveness. Sometimes I just can't make decisions, even about unimportant things, then either have to return an item I decide I don't like (wasted time and potentially gas) or go to the store a second time because I passed on an item the first time around and decided that I did, indeed, want that one after all.

5. Rising costs of fuel and food. This month our total for gasoline will surpass our grocery total. ( our cars are eating more than we are?!) The essentials for living are just overall going up in price, from gasoline, to wheat kernels, to diapers, to milk, and the list goes on. We can't control prices so our family needs to choose wisely about what and how much to consume of a variety of goods, without going backwards nutritionally. I know everyone is in the same boat here so I know this is not some unique problem to me...but it is really hurting the bottom line.

And then Rebecca tagged me for a one word/one phrase meme. Here goes.

You’re feeling: Hopeful
To your left: window and nothing on the peaceful!
On your mind: if and when and how our house will sell
Last meal included: hamburgers, chips and dip, BBQ beans, homemade vanilla ice cream
You sometimes find it hard to: leave the house with three young kids adequately fed, clothed, presentable and with the items we need with us, while also leaving the house behind us in decent shape
The weather: Getting warmer....too bad we discovered today that there is something wrong with our whole heating and cooling system, but this will be addressed ASAP!
Something you have a collection of: some Willow Tree figurines
A smell that cheers you up: pineapple, strawberries or coffee
A smell that can ruin your mood: yucky diaper
How long since you last shaved: this morning
The current state of your hair: shoulder length, nondescript, not loving it, but it'll do
The largest item on your desk/workspace (not computer): Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales
Your skill with chopsticks: ummm....none
Which section you head for first in a bookstore: I head for crafts, sewing, bargain books or magazines.
Something you're craving: a trip to British Columbia (to see the friends and family)
Your general thoughts on the presidential race: I wish there was an option I could fully support
How many times have you been hospitalized this year: none
Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: bedroom
You’ve always secretly thought you’d be a good: mom, but now I'm having my doubts
Something that freaks you out: Scary movies...can't watch 'em
Something you’ve eaten too much of lately: Chick-Fil-A
You have never: lived alone
You never want to: have my children go hungry (due to lack of food, not their own pickiness)

If you'd like to join in, you're it! Or if you want to chime in on a few of the questions, fire away in the comments!

Fun Uncle Visit

For our little girl's birthday, her uncle came to visit for a few days. He will soon be landing on the other side of the world to work and live for two years so we were thankful for this time to spend with him before left the continent. We enjoyed a trip to the zoo, some meals out and just hanging out with him.

Do you see the family resemblance?

And She's Four

Our girl is growing up and turned four soon after we returned from South Carolina. We had a party at home the following weekend with friends with a flip flop theme, though we don't go all out with decorating and such. She is a delight to us and we thank God for her life!

So how would we describe this girl?

Persistent, Observant, Strong, Persistent, Sweet, Loving, Persistent, Emotional, Caring, Daring, Smart, Persistent, Girly, Beautiful, Generous, Thoughtful, and did I mention Persistent?

We love you, sweet daughter, and are thankful for the girl you are becoming and for the lessons you are teaching your daddy and me. You are a treasure!

We Needed That!

We are approaching one month since my husband and I went away on our trip alone, but I thought I would post a bit about it anyway. Thanks to Nana & Papa for keeping the kids at FarmMed and for the week of very nice lodging in Myrtle Beach! This was our first trip away together (except for one night when Sportster was our only) since we have entered parenthood! It was just the right mix of sightseeing and just relaxing on the beach, at the pool or in our place. We visited two plantations, Fort Sumter, Sunset Beach in North Carolina, The Hammock Shops at Pawleys Island, and the Confederacy museum, Hyman's Seafood and the market in Charleston. And we celebrated my husband's 32nd birthday and were able to put to use his birthday gift, a Canon Rebel XT camera. (Thanks for all the sightseeing recommendations, Erika!)

This was a great week of sleeping in until we weren't tired anymore, having full conversations without interruption, eating out at some establishments that wouldn't be in our normal kid-friendly repertoire, and just enjoying our married life without everyday concerns and distractions. All in all, just a time of refreshment! And we returned renewed for the privilege of parenting and carrying on for what lies ahead for our family.

A few pictures from our time away.

We're hooked! We'd love to visit South Carolina again!